tihomir orešković.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ/ lsd

Prime Minister designate Tihomir Oreskovic on Friday confirmed that he had met with Darko Lorencin, the outgoing Tourism Minister, and that he had congratulated him on the results in tourism and underscored that he planned to speak to as many people as he could in various ministries and in the business sector.

"We met in the Tourism Ministry and I wanted to congratulate him on the 7 percent growth in tourism which is excellent for Croatia. It would be excellent for the country for other sectors to have that sort of growth," Oreskovic told reporters. He recalled that he knew Lorencin well from the time when he was CEO in Pliva and Lorencin worked in the Ministry of Economy.

Minister Lorencin reported on the meeting in a press release in which it says that he informed Oreskovic of the situation in the tourism sector and that they "primarily discussed the results achieved in tourism turnover and revenue, the investments realised over the past four years and those planned for the coming period, the Strategy for the Development of Tourism and Strategic Marketing Plan and legislative proposals that are being prepared."

"Minister Lorencin also informed the PM designate of the activities the Tourism Ministry has undertaken in the past four years, the situation on our most important markets and of incentive measures in the tourism sector in Croatia in cooperation with foreign business partners who bring tourists to our country," the press release says.

In a statement to the press, Oreskovic underscored that he was seeking the best qualified people to be members of the new government but he did not wish to tell reporters whether in his capacity as PM designate he was open to the possibility of having some ministers from the former government, if they had been successful, to be part of his government. He added that he planned to speak to as many people in the ministries and in the business sector as possible in order to get a better picture of the state of the country.

Oreskovic said that he would speak to Finance Minister Boris Lalovac when he had the time, "If not then the new finance minister will speak with him," he said.

He added that next week he would commence more concrete talks with the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Bridge reformist party about concrete names for ministers and that he was confident the new government would be formed within the set deadline of 30 days.

Lorencin's Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) and the party's leader Boris Miletic said that they welcomed the talks with the "most successful Croatian minister", adding that the IDS would not support a centre-right government.

"The results in the ministry over the past four years that was headed by a member of  the IDS are impressive, which is evident in record numbers for last year. It is logical that the future PM-Designate Tihomir Oreskovic notices and recognises these results, all the more so, because he is a man that comes from the business world," Miletic said on the party's web site welcoming today's meeting in "circumstances when political dialogue in Croatia is at its lowest point."

As far as supporting a right-wing government, Miletic underscored, IDS's stance from the start was clear and has not changed. "We will not support a centre-right government because the differences in ideologies and world views are too huge. Apart from that we still have no idea of the government's position on decentralisation and its relations toward fundamental civil liberties and values, above all, the question of human rights and minority rights. We hope that Mr Oreskovic will focus on the economy and that he will copy his professional success on the economic picture of Croatia - that is in all our interest."

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